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Graffitied South Vietnamese Airborne Helmet


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Hello all,

Several months ago, I had the fortune to purchase this helmet thanks to a good friend from an estate liquidator from Phú Yên Province in South-Central Vietnam for a very low price.

 

The helmet shows signs of heavy use and is un-molested. Over time, due to the shell rusting, the cover has molded to the shell and is "stuck". The helmet band is interesting as well; it appears to be several strands of steel springs covered in cloth (similar to the elasticated British chinstraps of WWII). The band is firmly lodged in place and will not budge.

 

This particular type of cover was commonly used by South Vietnamese Paratroopers in the late-war era. Although I believe one Vietnamese Marine Battalion was outfitted with the covers, I am more inclined based off of the locations that it was worn by a paratrooper.

Some of the writing includes:

  • Pleiku (City in the Central Highlands of Vietnam)
  • Qui Nhơn (City in the coastal Binh Dinh Province)
  • Hân (likely his name)

  • Linh Hồn (Roughly translates to Spirit/Soul)
  • Sài Gòn (Capital of South Vietnam at the time)
  • Vũng Tàu (Major port city Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, on a peninsula in southern Vietnam)
  • Mười (Number Ten) [written on both sides of the chinstrap]
  • Vui (Fun)

 

Though the photos don't show it very well, the writing is very faded and there are several other words/phrases which are illegible due to fading and the rust stains. In several other areas, you can clearly see where the original writing had severely faded and had been re-written.

 

Hope you all enjoy this one as much as I do!

post-154926-0-22485600-1566402355_thumb.jpg

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Thank you for all of the comments guys!

One person pointed out to me that the strap was likely taken from a T-10 Reserve Chute (would make sense with the South Vietnamese Airborne connection). After finding a photo of a '62 dated chute, you can see the strap is nearly identical, though mines may be a little smaller in width

 

post-154926-0-27793400-1566403652.jpg

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Makes sense.

Whats the condition UNDER the strap ?

Whats the liner dated ?

 

The band is pretty much glued in place, so I do not want to force it out of it's current position.

 

Looking the liner, it looks like it was produced in October of 1966/1967 and the sweatband is dated 1970

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Out of curiosity, I thought that the US Army was providing the RVN with equipment and as such, would have been providing the RVN airborne forces with airborne liners and pots? I've seen so many US Marine photos, esp. in the Hue City fighting who were equipped with M-1C liners, I would think that coming up with the needed liners and shells wouldn't have been a big deal for the big green to be able to equip the allied forces.

 

Great looking helmet BTW.

 

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Out of curiosity, I thought that the US Army was providing the RVN with equipment and as such, would have been providing the RVN airborne forces with airborne liners and pots? I've seen so many US Marine photos, esp. in the Hue City fighting who were equipped with M-1C liners, I would think that coming up with the needed liners and shells wouldn't have been a big deal for the big green to be able to equip the allied forces.

 

Great looking helmet BTW.

 

Allan

 

Hey Allan, thank you for the compliment.

 

Yes, the United States provided the South Vietnamese with the large majority of their weapons, supply and equipment. Just as you'll see even with US Airborne and Air Cav units though, not everyone got a perfectly paired up M-1C shell and a Airborne liner. The stuff was constantly being tossed around and re-issued and besides, I think most troops could care less.

 

I have a picture somewhere with 2 of those bands being worn.

If you could find that picture or a photo of this strap being worn, I'd really appreciate it

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Hey Allan, thank you for the compliment.

 

Yes, the United States provided the South Vietnamese with the large majority of their weapons, supply and equipment. Just as you'll see even with US Airborne and Air Cav units though, not everyone got a perfectly paired up M-1C shell and a Airborne liner. The stuff was constantly being tossed around and re-issued and besides, I think most troops could care less.

 

If you could find that picture or a photo of this strap being worn, I'd really appreciate it

 

Sorry personal collection for my camouflage book

Owen

 

 

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